Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle and other hormones in the body. It is made of the amino acid tryptophan.
Due to the research in the 1970s and 1980s, melatonin was used more than it is used today. However, it has been shown that 20mg melatonin are useful in patients with cancer.
The uses for melatonin are insomnia, jet lag, sleep disorders due to shift hour work, to reduce side effects of quitting smoking, insomnia due to some medications as beta blockers, and insomnia due to disorders as ADHD.
A lot of my patients use melatonin, but I do not think we know the long term effects or safety. We do know that melatonin have an inhibitory effect on ovulation.